Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg discusses the infrastructure solutions that his department expects to pursue if President Biden signs the infrastructure bill, as well as the challenges that supply chain interruptions, bottlenecks, and inflation offer for these plans.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is in charge of a large portion of the new $1 trillion infrastructure program, including roads, bridges, ports, airports, and trains.
It accounts for over half of the $550 billion in new spending, with $110 billion going toward surface transportation, another $105 billion going toward the rail, and $42 billion going toward seaports and airports.
During an interview with Yahoo Finance Live on Monday, Buttigieg outlined the next steps to get that money out after the “ink is dry” on the law, as well as how he’s “making sure the American people feel the maximum possible benefit.”
Buttigieg provided residents a flavor of what to expect by saying, “In practical terms, part of that means running new monies through old plumbing, so to speak.”
He cited existing initiatives that already have a mechanism in place, such as when a city wants to repair a road or an airport needs to improve. Buttigieg stated that there are numerous suggestions for infrastructure upgrades that have been stalled due to a lack of finance.
“We have means for doing it,” he said, adding, “and now we have a lot more to do it with.” In one case, the measure allotted $17 billion for ports, with the majority of the money going through the Army Corps of Engineers”.
Buttigieg added that the Department of Transportation is hiring to staff “dozens” of new initiatives for the months and years ahead, just hours before President Biden is set to sign the law on Monday.
He admitted that there may be delays when the money is disbursed and the repairs are carried out, but “just remember that on the other side of that will be the world-class infrastructure that America needs and deserves.”